How long can my creditors chase me?

Written by Payplan Ryan on 20 March 2012

So how long can a creditor chase the debt?

A question that I often come across from people struggling to pay their debts is “how long can my creditors chase me?” The answer is until you have paid them what you owe. However, if communication between the debtor and the creditor breaks down and enough time elapses, then the debt can be un-enforceable.

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  • All creditors have a fixed period of time, as stated in the Limitations Act of 1980, in which that they can pursue a debtor for a debt. The act states that unsecured debts, such as credit cards, store cards, overdraft, bank loans and catalogues, become “statute barred” if there has been no contact between the two parties within a six year period. The creditor has not already obtained a judgment against you

and

  • You, or anyone else owing the money (on a debt in joint names) have not made a payment on the debt during the last six years

and

  • You have not communicated with the creditor admitting you owe the debt during the last six years.

After six years if the creditor makes contact with the debtor and asks for a payment, the debtor does not have to pay them.

These instructions do not apply to debts in Scotland. Under Scottish law, if a lender allows time to pass without receiving any payment an action for recovery may become barred under the Prescription and Limitation (Scotland) Act 1973. (For details of this Act see Gloag and Henderson 12th edition at Chapter4.). These debts are completely extinguished and cannot be enforced. Once the prescriptive period expires the debt cannot be allowed as a deduction.

To explain it further here is a possible scenario…

You take out a credit card, after a period of time you lose contact with your credit card provider and stop payments. You then receive a letter from them to say they want you to resume payments and clear the debt. The time period between your last contact with the creditor – whether it was a payment made, a letter or a telephone conversation – has been six years, this means that the debt has become “statue barred” and the creditor is no longer allowed to pursue you for payment or take any further legal action against you.

If a creditor continues to contact you once the debt becomes “statue barred” then you are entitled to report them for harassment, as well as making a complain to the Financial Conduct Authority.

For free debt help and advice simply contact us and one of our friendly advisers will give you all the help you need.

Can Old Debts be Written Off?

Well, yes and no. After a period of six years after you miss a payment, the default is removed from your credit file and no longer acts negatively against you. The same thing goes with debts; according to The Limitation Act 1980, after a period of six years, if the debtor has not acknowledged the debt through payment or contact, it becomes statute barred. This means that (with the exception of Council Tax bills), the creditor cannot use legal means to enforce you to pay a debt.

The downside is, although a company cannot legally make you give them any money, the debt still exists and they can bother you with as many letters, emails, texts or calls as they like until the debt is paid in full.

It’s also worth noting that if someone takes legal action (such as requesting a CCJ) on you during the six-year window since you last acknowledged the debt, then you are still legally obliged to pay the debt and it will not become statute barred. If the debt in question is related to a mortgage, then the time-limit doubles and you require 12 contactless years before any statute barring.

What Happens?

Well the first thing that usually happens if you haven’t been in contact with a company you owe money to, is they’ll pass your debt onto a collection agency. If the original creditor cannot get in touch with a debtor it is not uncommon for them to outsource the collection of the debt to someone else. As those who have dealt with them will attest, debt collection agencies tend to be much more ‘thorough’ when finding and collecting debt.

If traditional communications fail then it’s possible that your creditor will take a further step of requesting a County Court Judgment (also known as a CCJ). If this is asked for, the courts will decide whether or not you are liable to repay the debt, and set out in detail, the manner in which it has to be repaid. CCJ’s stick to your record and can seriously reduce your chances of getting credit in the future.

But what happens to really old debt – debt that has been ignored for years and seemingly forgotten?

What to do Next?

Even if you are not legally obliged to pay any money once a debt becomes statute barred, you can still get chased for it. Besides, no one sends you a letter in the post telling you that you don’t have to pay them back anymore.

If someone contacts you about a debt that you think might be statute barred, then you can respond by asking the creditor to prove that what you owe is legally enforceable. This can be done with a simple letter in which you should ask for proof that the debt isn’t statute barred (quoting the Limitation Act 1980), and state that you do not acknowledge the debt.

If you receive proof that you have acknowledged the debt within a six year period then it’s time to pay-up. If not, you are theoretically free to leave that debt unpaid forever, and you can even make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if the company in question continues to hassle you, without proof of liability.

But, do you really want that hanging over your head? What you can do instead is contact the company and make them an offer. The debt is not legally enforceable but it still exists. Make your debtor an offer, starting at around 10% of the total value, and see if you can’t properly get rid of that old debt; for a fraction of the price.

 


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This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.

150 thoughts on “How long can my creditors chase me?”

  • Gemma

    April 23, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    Is this for a Debt Relief Order? To do a Debt Relief Order you must pay a £90 fee and similar to bankruptcy, you will be discharged from your debts. If you are unsure then please call us and speak to us and we will go through all of your queries with you.

    Reply Report comment

  • Gemma

    August 8, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    Hi Terry,

    A debt cannot be written off after a certain time, it can become Statue Barred which means that they can still chase you for the debt but they cannot pursue any legal action against you. However it can only become Statue Barred if you moved or the creditor was unable to find you to contact you. If you would like further information you could go to your local Citizens Advice who will be able to speak to you in more detail about older debts.

    Many Thanks
    Gemma

    Reply Report comment

  • khan

    March 27, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    If my debts become statue Barred in six year time what happens to credit file score.

    Reply Report comment

    • kursat ustugul

      June 13, 2016 at 4:17 am

      hi i had credit card from halifax 2007 andthen i left uk i came back 6 months ago do i have to still paid that dept ?thanks

      Reply Report comment

      • Jane Clack

        June 16, 2016 at 8:24 pm

        If the creditor has not issued a county court judgment against you and you have made no payments or acknowledged the debt in writing, then the debt is statute barred in England and Wales. If a judgment has been issued – even if over 6 years ago so does not appear on a credit report ay longer) and the creditor or his agent finds you again (as you had not informed them you were moving)they can ap0ply to the court to be able to enforce the judgment and it is likely to be agreed. A statute barred debt is still there – it has not been written off – but they cannot take you to court to enforce it after the 6 year period.

        Reply Report comment

        • Darren

          September 25, 2016 at 9:27 am

          I left uk over 10 years ago I left debt ..in short, I have received now a letter asking for payments. To begin next month , the letter was from a debtor agency in uk I have lived in Ireland since June 06, does this come under statute barred.

          Reply Report comment

          • Jane Clack

            September 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm

            Do you live in the Republic or Northern Ireland as if youyb live in Northern Ireland and have made no payment towards a debt or acknowledged it in writing – or email – and the creditor has not gone for court action, then the debt is statute barred. If there was a joint debt and the joint partner has made payments then this is not the case.

    • Roger Windridge

      June 21, 2017 at 1:49 pm

      IVE HAD THIS DEBT FOR LONGER THAN 6 YEARS ,THEY HAVE TRIED TO CONTACT ME ,WHICH IVE NEVER REPLIED ,I.VE HAD THIS DEBT SINCE 2002 ,THE AMOUNT IS £ 4929.57 ,PLUS COURT COSTS OF £287
      THE PEOPLE WHO ARE CHASING THIS ARE ARROWGLOBAL GUERNSEY ,

      THEY SAID THEIR COUNTY COURT BUSINESS CENTRE PHONE 0300 123 1056
      ADDRESS ….4TH FLOOR , ST KATHRINES HOUSE, NORTHAMPTON
      DATED 8TH JUNE 2017
      THEN AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LETTER ……IF YOU HAVE NOT PAID THE AMOUNT OR IGNORE THIS LETTER GOODS MAY BE TAKEN AND SOLD ,AND OTHER ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS MAY BE TAKEN AGAINST YOU

      PLEASE HELP

      Reply Report comment

      • Jane Clack

        June 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm

        They could only enforce this debt if a county court judgment had been issued. County court judgments sit on credit files for 6 years and then fall off and if the creditor has not enforced before this time, he has to go back to court to say why. If it because it was issued to the last address they had for you and they were then unable to get in touch, the court will allow them to do that. You do need to be sure that you have not moved address since they could have made a claim – up to 6 years from your last payment or acknowledgement in writing – and if this is not the case then you can remind them that the debt is statute barred. Please look at the fact sheet on liability for debts published by National Debtline. I mention the county court details and judgment as you mention the Northampton Bulk Court address on your email.

        Reply Report comment

  • Bev

    July 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    In January 2006 I went to Index Extra to buy a cooker. After I’d purchased it I was told they couldn’t offer a connection service so Index Extra refunded the money on to my debit card. The lady then processed an order via Littlewoods to purchase the cooker and for it to be installed by a gas engineer. At no point did I sign a credit agreement because I paid the full amount by debit card whilst I was stood in the store.
    Every 6 months I get threatening letters from a debt collector to say that if I don’t pay up bailiffs will call. I explain to them the situation, that I paid twice and was refunded once and have even proved this numerous times with bank statements.
    I now cannot find that bank statement and it’ll cost me money to get another so I’ve told them to prove I owe this money by sending me a copy of a credit agreement with my signature (I know they cannot do this as I never had one!). I then don’t hear from that debt collector again but a different one will contact me after 6-12 months.
    So my question is what can I do?
    It is becoming a real drain to have to deal with this again and again. As its been 7.5 years now is there anything I can do to get rid of them?

    Reply Report comment

    • Aaron

      December 31, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Apply for online banking where you can get all your statements or ask for an unofficial statement from your bank as these are free of charge and can still be used in a court of law as long as the statements are “STAMPED” by the bank. Hope this can help

      Reply Report comment

  • Samuel

    August 13, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Hi Rick,

    A debt relief order (DRO) is a possible debt solution to tackle unsecured debts, there is certain criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for a DRO.
    There are other debt solutions available including a debt management plan (DMP) or individual voluntary arrangement (IVA), without knowing the full extent of your personal circumstances I can’t specifically say which is best for you.

    If you contact our helpline number on 0800 280 2816 (Mobile calls may be cheaper on 0207 760 8980) or fill in our online form: http://www.payplan.com/debt-help we will call you back.
    We will be able to fully assess your circumstances and discuss the available options with you in your own time.

    Please do not hesitate to contact if you require any further information or assistance.
    Kind regards,
    Samuel

    Reply Report comment

  • Samuel

    December 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

    Hi Lisa,

    If there has been no acknowledgement of the debt for 6 years for unsecured debts and 12 years for debts relating to property, they will be statute barred.
    The debt is still outstanding but the creditor can’t legally enforce it through the court system.

    The debt will be time barred if there has been no contact for this length of time but you would be well served seeking specific advice on this to make sure. You could try the local CAB or free session/s from a local solicitor if you can.

    I hope that helps, but please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further information or assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Samuel

    Reply Report comment

  • Dawn

    December 30, 2013 at 2:51 am

    Hi. I have been split from my ex for almost 4 years now. Approx 9 years ago he took out a substantial personal bank loan to pay off company debts, solely in his name, and another approx 6 years ago which was for 10k, this one I begrudgingly guaranteed. He kept failing to pay on time, and struggled to meet the monthly payment amounts agreed. The bank advised him to cease paying and let it go to collections, which he did. A collections company who work on behalf on the bank stepped in, consolidated the loans and now he pays a small amount each month to pay them off. The total still due to them is 85k approx. My query is, ive never paid anything towards these debts since he took them out, I was stupidly
    guarantor to the 10k even though they are nothing to do with me. As 6 years has passed re the one I was guarantor for, does this mean they cannot chase me if he fails to pay ? The loans were not secured on the joint property as far as im aware at the time as I did not approve that. I bought him out the joint property 4 years ago in April coming. I just want assurances that I have nothing to worry about as regards them chasing me for his loans. He also hasnt given them his present address details, his post still comes to my property address c/o. Any help would be very appreciated.
    Thank you.

    Reply Report comment

  • Dawn

    December 30, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Hi again.
    Just to add to my last comments / query, I have never acknowledged to the bank or collections liability for these debts. I have always stated they were nothing to do with me and that I would never contribute towards any payments. I did speak to the collections agency when they took the debt on, stating these debts were nothing to do with me and were to clear off my ex’s debts. They simply told me, tough, the bank should have removed my details prior to it being passed over to them, I had already requested the bank did this but they simply refused to. The collections debt said, as your ex has admitted all liability to total amount, then they should have removed my details. ?? Confused what I should do next.

    Reply Report comment

  • Samuel

    January 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Andy,

    The statute of limitations on debts, is 6 years but you must look to take professional advice as dates and actions are key.
    Your local CAB normally have drop in clinics you can attend or you can speak to our helpline number on: 0800 280 2816
    I hope that helps, let us know if you require any further information or assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Samuel

    Reply Report comment

  • Samuel

    January 24, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Hello John,

    If the debt was included in your debt relief order then you just need to tell the lender/creditor (in your case Payday Loan company) to contact the Insolvency Service quoting the Debt Relief Order number.
    That should deal with the contact for you.

    Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you require any further information or assistance.

    Kind regards,

    Samuel

    Reply Report comment

  • Samuel

    February 13, 2014 at 10:04 am

    Hi Rachel,

    You will still owe the amounts that are unpaid on the credit cards and store cards, If it was more than 6 years ago they MAY be statute barred, which will mean that the debts are no longer legally enforceable – but again they are still outstanding. Please take further professional advice disclosing all the information surrounding the debts, dates of contact and any repayment that you may have made – this is all key to determine if any debts are actually statute barred.
    Our helpline number is: 0800 280 2816 or our web form is here:

    Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information or assistance.

    Kind regards,
    Samuel

    Reply Report comment

  • jody

    May 30, 2014 at 6:17 am

    If a debt is over 6 years old the chances are that it has been sold time and time again to different companies. If you DO acknowledge the debt when they call, tell them you require them to send you a copy of your original signed agreement and you will get back to them. Chances are you won’t hear from them again because they won’t have it.

    Reply Report comment

  • Gemma

    July 4, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    I owe a few debts from when I was 18 and I didn’t quite understand overdrafts etc. I took a mobile contract out and O2 was over charging me causing me to go Into an overdraft and unable to get back out of it as I couldn’t afford to pay it. It’s been 5 years and I get the odd letter about owing O2 once every 3/4 month but I’ve never heard anything about owing the money to the bank.
    When another year or two passes will O2 and the bank be able to chase me for the debt?
    I’m currently at university and I want to wait until I have finished and found a full time job to save up and pay each debt off one by one.
    Also with some company’s doing credit checks on employers does this mean I won’t get hired due to the debts I got when I was 18 and not created any debts since?

    Reply Report comment

    • Richard Wells

      July 4, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Hello Gemma,
      Thank you for your comments.
      If you contact our helpline number on 0800 280 2816 (Mobile calls may be cheaper on 0207 760 8980) or fill in our online form: https://www.payplan.com/debt-help they will call you back.
      They will be able to fully assess your circumstances and discuss the available options with you in your own time.

      Please do not hesitate to contact if you require any further information or assistance.
      Kind regards,
      Rich

      Reply Report comment

    • barbara clegg

      October 17, 2014 at 1:52 pm

      my iva has been paid up now for over 5 years 10 years when i went into it am i clear of debt

      Reply Report comment

  • John Smith

    November 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    I left Scotland approximately 6 years ago with various credit cards and personal loans (unsecured approx total 30k). I made payments (leaving enough for the minimum monthly payments) for about 6 months then stopped altogether. I haven’t contacted them in any way since then and I believe they wrote to me for a time at my old address. I don’t think there was/is any court proceedings. Are these debts extinguished? What happens to my credit file if I decide to return to Scotland in the next few years? Can they still pursue me for these debts? Would I be able to open a basic bank account (wages in, normal cash ATM withdrawals, etc.) and/or would I be eligible for a credit card elsewhere? Not sure if ever will return but would be good to know what awaits me if I did. Thanks.

    Reply Report comment

  • Jasmine

    December 1, 2014 at 2:13 am

    I am currently on a DMP, my hours at work have dropped and I am really struggling to make ends meet, am I eligable for a debt relief order of I am on a debt management plan?

    Thanks

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      December 4, 2014 at 9:11 am

      Hi Jasmine,

      I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile who will be able to provide advice on this. Alternatively you can fill in our online form https://www.payplan.com/debt-help/ and we shall ring you back.

      Reply Report comment

  • Nikki

    January 15, 2015 at 9:54 am

    Hi, i have just recieved a letter from a debt company telling me that they are transferring my debt to another company , i have since contacted this new collector with regards to this as i have no idea what this debt was , the company have told me it is for an old catalogue debt from 2007/2008 which i have no knowledge of , do i need to pay this , i have no recollection of this debt and this recent letter is the 1st i know of it

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      January 27, 2015 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Nikki
      Please contact our helpline who will be able to advise you fully on what to do. Freephone 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile.

      Reply Report comment

  • Marcus

    January 15, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    Hi, I took out a DRO in 2012 and i am now 1 year and 2 months out of my moratorium period. I decided to check my credit file and have found that Halifax and mkdr are still putting defaults onto my credit file since i took out the order to date. Are they allowed to do this?

    Thanks

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      January 27, 2015 at 2:22 pm

      Hello Marcus, thanks for your comment. It’s best if you contact our helpline who will be able to advise you on these defaults. Freephone 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. Thanks

      Reply Report comment

  • Sue

    January 19, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    We had our house repossessed in Feb 1994 (for being a measly £1,000 in arrears). We were never pursued for what would have been approx £10,000 shortfall following the resale.
    Hambro Life (now Zurich) acted as brokers and I know they insisted we had to have PPI. However we haven’t quite dared look into it in case we can still be pursued for either the arrears or shortfall. So my question really is, should we have it investigated, or should we let sleeping dogs lie?

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      January 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Sue,
      It’s best if you contact our helpline who will be able to advise you fully on what to do. Freephone 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. Cheers

      Reply Report comment

  • Kim

    January 20, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Hi I got a vodafone contract phone about 5years ago and recently iv had letters saying I have to pay it back then igot another one sayin it went to court then another sayin bayliff could come to my house if I don’t pay the full amount could I still phone the court up and make payment plans with them as I won’t be able to afford the £700 they are asking for?

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      January 27, 2015 at 2:20 pm

      Kim, Please contact our helpline on freephone 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. We will be able to give you some further advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Nicolette hindes

    February 5, 2015 at 9:07 pm

    Hi I took out a loan in 2007 it went into default in 2009 have £800 still outstanding do I still have to pay it as it has been six years now?

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      February 6, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Hello Nicolette,

      To ensure we give the best possible advice, I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. We will be able to inform you on the best actions and your rights!
      Hope this helps
      Thanks
      Rich

      Reply Report comment

  • ram

    February 23, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    i have one default account on my credit report that was Halifax overdraft only £200 in 2010. but now default showing £712. my credit score is good but i am bit tensed about this debt. is this affects my current account in future ? what should i do? any suggestions please.. thank you friends

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      March 2, 2015 at 9:54 am

      Hello Ram,
      To ensure we give the best possible advice, I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. We will be able to inform you on the best actions to take.
      Hope this helps
      Thanks
      Rich

      Reply Report comment

  • lexxus20

    February 26, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    Hi I left the UK in 09 with a few debts, if i plan to return can they come after me to repay them, since i left i have had no contact with them, thye were mainly catalogs and 2 credit cards. I would like to know if after 6/7 years my credit will be clear and if they could still come after me for the outstanding debt

    Reply Report comment

  • lisa

    March 16, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    Hi I have a few outstanding debts from before 2010 and have had no contact with any debtors they d0 send letters but I have ignored them, due to not working. If I do get in touch with them will they take in to account my partner wage as I’m not working I relay on my tax credit I am paying an old tax credit overpayment now but he doesn’t agree that he should have to pay my debt.

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      March 23, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Hello Lisa,
      I would suggest you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile who will be able to discuss your options.
      Thanks

      Reply Report comment

  • Jessica stringer

    March 19, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Hi, I have a debt collection agency saying I owe them £174 for Avon. I have checked my credit file and it’s not on my credit file. And I believe it’s from over 5 years ago. They are now saying if I don’t arrange to pay it and I haven’t done so far they have now escalated it for legal assessment which could mean they could go to court for the money. Can they do this even though it’s not even on my credit file? I don’t really remember signing a credit agreement with Avon. But I can’t be certain. It’s just strange that it’s not on my credit file yet they are chasing me for it. Is there anything I can do?
    Also my partner has one for has one for orange which is on his credit file for orange and they’ve said the same thing for his and is around the same sort of age. Will they proceed down the CCJ route for £275?
    Many thanks

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      March 23, 2015 at 8:38 am

      Hello,
      To ensure we give the best possible advice, I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

  • Lisa

    April 25, 2015 at 8:52 pm

    Hi I have a high interest credit card that I have been refusing to pay because when I spoke to them 4/5 yrs ago to ask for help as I was finding it difficult to pay the monthly payments to which they rudely told me I had to pay what they said and there was no way of freezing the interest for me to catch up, I then ignored all their letters and about 1.5 yrs ago after the company had sold the debt a lot of times received a letter from lovell with a dodgy looking court letter, my point is if they say I have been ccj’d but I don’t believe it’s genuine, how will I no? It’s like a standard letter but the stamp don’t look real?

    Reply Report comment

  • Joanna

    May 1, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Hi,
    I have an overdraft debt of £1100. I moved abroad though over a year ago. My ex flatmate which owns the flat I was staying she contacted me to tell me that I got a letter from a collection agency for my debt. She asked me to take care of it as she’s afraid that if I won’t pay it back it will affect her credit score. Is that true?
    I called them and we managed to arrange monthly payments of £80 (100€) But is unlikely to be able to pay them as my salary is small and i have to support my family financially. As I said I moved abroad where I’m from and I’m not returning back. What are the consequences if I don’t pay? I know it sounds bad but I’m so stressed and I feel I have no other choice!
    Thank you!
    Looking forward to your reply!
    J

    Reply Report comment

  • Tracy

    May 14, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    my husband had run up 28.000 with credit cards log book loans and a bank loan we separate 6 months ago due to his behaviour he has resently skipped the country none of the debt is in my name can any of his creditors come to me for his debt the house we jointly owned has been sold and he has had his share I have purchased another house in my name

    Reply Report comment

  • Mar

    June 11, 2015 at 6:17 pm

    Good day,
    I received a phone call that I didn’t recognize. When I said Hello, nobody answered. Minutes later I called back out of curiosity. They said they had a civil complain due to an unpaid pay-day loan advance.
    They said that they had been contracted by a company who had been sending me mails to my address (an old address – I haven’t lived there in the past 4 years) and sent emails (also to an old email – I haven’t had that email address for maybe about 8 years or more). They said that they have two dates on record, one if from 2008 and another one from 2010, but didn’t give me specifics about that date and what they meant.

    I called again hours later to request more information but they said that they couldn’t give me any more information because it was in a sealed envelop and that it will be taken to the courts.
    They said that I had to go to court and request further information.
    I don’t remember this company. If I ever asked for a loan, I have paid them and I have receipts.
    They refused to give me names of any company doing this complain. They refused to give me their address. I said that I had no idea of any loan that I owed and that I had the right to be provided with more information. They said that I had to either pay it or go to court to get the information that I needed.
    What should I do?

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      June 18, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Hello,
      To ensure we give the best possible advice, I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

  • Michelle smith

    June 14, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    Hi in the tax year of 2005/2006 I was told my family tax credit was overpaid and they would carry on taking the arrears in future years whilst I was claiming, this carried on for some years but still owing them money but still carried on paying the arrears until myself and my partner was unable to claim money due to the changes to income our last reward notice was 2011\2012 tax year still having the arrears on there but not able to claim due to income.from 2012 we hadn’t heard nothing from hmrc until we had a letter from a debt collecter saying that they have taken the dept over and wish to take £400 per month to clear the £1500.00 overpayment,my question is can this happen and should I pay if I pay the £400 per month this would leave myself and my partner nothing to live on,without any joy we have know received another letter from another debt collector informing us they have control off the dept,without going into an iva or going into bankruptcy as I have done this before I don’t know where to turn,how can a debt go on for before they can no longer ask for the money…..I need help many thanks Michelle

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      June 18, 2015 at 8:17 am

      Hello,
      To ensure we give the best possible advice, I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

  • Belinda Pitts

    June 17, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    I’ve been on debt management with pay plan for over 5 years now and have a minimum of 5 years left. I have been advised that this debt could possibly be written off. Is this possible?

    Reply Report comment

  • seraj

    June 22, 2015 at 8:34 am

    Hi I borrowed money from a banks credit card approximately £12000. I have moved home about 5 and half years ago but have not made contact with them for about 7 years atleast., although they did phone my house but I was living with my parents and my parents by old them I was not living there any longer. Will it be statute barred because I have not been in contact with them even though they have been phoning my dads house and also if it is statute barred will I be able to get a mortgage in future .

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      July 2, 2015 at 7:58 am

      Hello,
      I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

  • Dee

    July 7, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Hi there today I’ve received a letter from a debt collection agency demanding the sums of £36255:67 for mortgage arrears or the sale of a property i once owned.
    The date stated on the letter for these arrears states from 27th of October 2008.
    Can anyone advise where I stand and what I should do.
    I’m currently unemployed and don’t intend to make any form of payment.
    Way I see it, they sold the property cheap at auction, that’s not my fault!
    Also had they not authorized myself (when walking into an Halifax branch,) a credit card with a credit limit of £55,000 having already transferred £25,000 into my account and I only went in to pay a cheque!
    20 MINS later I’m £55,000 potentially in debt.
    Yes, my mortgage was with Halifax.
    Anyone? Any advice?

    Reply Report comment

  • paul edmeaded

    July 8, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Hi is have received a letter today from DWP saying I owe them £188.77. When I called them I have been informed that it was a social fund loan dated 7th September 1998 ( yes that is right 17 years ago ). I did say 17 years ago are you serious and got told they are very busy in the social fund loan department. My question is where do I stand as they are looking to make an arrestment on my wages.

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      July 14, 2015 at 7:29 am

      Hello Paul,

      The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has 20 years to take action through the courts to recover benefit overpayments. The time starts running from the date of the decision that the overpayment was recoverable. If no decision was made to recover the overpayment, the DWP has five years to take action through the courts. This time limit runs from the date of the decision that an overpayment had been made.
      It may always still be possible to recover the overpayment from another benefit you receive as the DWP do not have to go through the courts to do this.
      The usual time limit of five years applies to overpayments of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit
      If you need further information you should now contact our helpline or PayPlan Scotland

      Reply Report comment

  • TB

    July 10, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Hi There!

    I had a driving fine back in June 2012, however, I was unaware of a fee of £133, untill I had debt collectors chasing me in late 2013! For £655 Once I found out what was going on I contacted the court it was issued by and they said it was out of their hand, u was set upon by the ball offs and forced to make a payment, of £100! I requested a payment plan for balance but was refused, due to no longer working, I refused any further payment after about 9 months of constant defiance to pay, it was returned to the court and I was told further cost where placed on the debt +£100 however I had already paid £100 so just had a balance of £133 again!! All the same I set up payment plan with court and was told to pay no less than £25 per payment. I received a payment card early December 2014 and so mid Jan 2015 I payed a £25 payment, by the end of the week, I received an bother balling letter from a new balling this time, but ignored it thinking it was old, it was requesting £310, then I received a letter from the court saying thank you for payment, but unfortunately this has been passed back to the bailiffs due to non payment by payment date!! I recheck all my documentation and just as I thought no payment date, I emailed the court back with this and said their payment date wasn’t given, and so UN- inforcable, I was advance to just use the pay meant card and clear the remaining balance by a friend, so 2 days later I did this, I cleared the remaining balance which by this time was just £75 and contacted the court to say so, however it July 2015 and the bailiffs are still sending me final demands, for removal of goods, unless I pay £310 they say they have s warrant? However after checking my credit report no court judgements was against me!! Can they still chase me fur the fall, or even any if the amount?

    Reply Report comment

    • Rich Wells

      July 14, 2015 at 7:31 am

      Hello

      I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile as your question does not make it clear if it’s a country court parking penalty or a magistrates court fine for a driving offence, as information you have given mixes the two.

      A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

  • CANDICE

    July 25, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    I took out a car finance argeement in the begining of 2008 after some financal difficulty I agreed to have the car repossed in in late 2008. I didnt hear anything from the company for at least 8 months after that. I was then sent letters from others companies asking for the remaining money. I wrote letters to all 3 companies and the origanal creditor asking for this to be looked into because 1. I hadnt heard anything in 8 months and 2. the caragreement was taken out for 9000 and they were asking for 7,500 still to be paid?
    I then didnt hear anything again till mid 2010 from a new company I rang them to explain the previous issues and they said they would be in contact and never were.

    What do you think will happen with this now as I am wanting to start looking into buying a house with my partner and dont want this haging over us.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 27, 2015 at 7:47 am

      If you agreed to have the car repossessed then you are liable for the remainder of the money owed minus the auction receipts (as it will have been sold by auction) plus all the costs. This usually means quite bit is outstanding and could well have been the £7,500 they asked for. You wrote to the creditors in 2009 as the acr was repossessed in late 2008 and 8 months passed. Then you rang the new company in 2010 – and it is quite likely the debt had been sold on by this point – and at this point you “explained the previous issues”. This basically means that you acknowldeged the debt so the statute of limitations had six years to run from this contact. The statute of limitations on most unsecured debts in England and Wales is 6 years during which if there has been no payment, no contact in writing (takingus back to 2009) and the creditor has not gone for court action then the debt is “statute barred”. The money is still owed but the creditor cannot take you to court to enforce it. The debt will be on your credit file from the date the original creditor defaulted the debt anyway and at present it is unlikely you would be able to get a mortgage until this falls off. You will need to check your credit files.
      I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

  • Jon

    July 26, 2015 at 8:04 am

    Hi-I signed up for a skills course in Scotland in early 2009. I didn’t start the course and left it at that. I heard nothing since then. In march 2015 (now living back in England) I had a email from a debt collection agency saying I had to pay of £900 odd pound or they would take me to court. I sent them several emails saying that I wasn’t paying and eventually gave in and made one payment-however surley after the 6 years have passed I am not obliged to make any payments. And as I registered for the course in Scotland, is the limit to chase 5 years? Please let me know where I stand as I received a email from them less than a week ago and was to scared to read it. Can they take me to court? What power do they have?

    Regards,

    Jon

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 27, 2015 at 7:53 am

      There are a lot of “ifs” and “buts” here and it is not the most appropriate place to ask the questions that need clarifying first.
      I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.
      Hope this helps

      Reply Report comment

  • Jon

    July 26, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Just to clarify my last post- although I did make a payment I never acknowledged that the debt was mine.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 27, 2015 at 7:59 am

      As before I would advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Jeannie newton

    July 27, 2015 at 4:31 pm

    Hi, I became ill 10 years ago whilst at university, my student loans were consolidated by the bank at the time but I was unable to return to work, I payed £1 a month for ten years, I am now severely disabled and will never work again ( 58yrs old ). The bank has recently sold on the debt, I am no longer paying anything as I have not spoke to the people it was sold to. The debt is no longer on my credit file, I am on a very low income, I know from past experience that the company who have bought the debt will not accept a token payment, I am too ill to cope with the stress now, I am obliged to discuss this with them after such a long time?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 28, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      Hello Jeannie,

      How long ago did you stop paying anything at all?

      You are probably aware of the statute of limitations but if you live in England or Wales this does not extinguish the debt but makes it impossible for the creditor or their assignee to try and collect it through court action. The debt will not be on your credit file six years after it was defaulted but the money is still owed. However, you cannot get blood out of a stone and if you have no money then you cannot pay anything mroe than a token payment. However there are other options – if the debt is under £15,000 (going up to £20,000 in October) and you do not own a house or any large assets with a disposable income of less than £50 you could look at a DRO or even bankruptcy to finally get out from under and start again.

      I would also advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Louise brumfit

    July 28, 2015 at 11:44 am

    hi I had a IVA 7 years ago! It was all paid clearly in 3 years. However I was recently rejected from a company for a credit card as it says I still have an account with them. When I called them they said I still had an account with £337 due on it. And yet this was included on the IVA? Do I pay it or just leave it? I now luckily have no financial worries x

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 28, 2015 at 1:38 pm

      Contact your supervisor from the IVA – do you still have a copy of the proposals as it should mention them in there. If it was included in the IVA then as you know there is nothing more to pay and they should not have asked you. You certainly do not have to pay it unless they can prove it was not included and you did not inadvertently leave it out. It could also be they have made a mistake. However, I would not pursue trying to get a credit card from them as it is often difficult to get one from a company that was included in an IVA.

      Reply Report comment

  • stuart emms

    July 29, 2015 at 8:00 am

    I have just received a letter from Cabquest saying I owe them 13 thousand pounds for an outstanding debt. I lost my home several years ago and I eneded up owing a few creditors. I wasn’t sure what this debt was for and sure that 6 years had passed. I emailed them asking to be specific about this debt. They have told me the debt was defaulted in Nov 2008 and the last payment was made in Oct 2009. That makes this debt 5 years and 9 months old. They also telephoned me prior to the letter explaining where the debt was from and said they wouldn’t send bailiffs but advised I make provisions for payment. I said I dont believe I have to pay anymore and have sent them a letter asking if it is statute barred. I have not received any other correspondence from this company or any other organization regarding this debt previously and it is not registered on my credit file. I have also not agreed or made and payment since the default. I cannot recall paying anything up until Oct 2009. Now that I have corresponded with them, are they now able to pursue me for another 6 years? They said they would contact me again in Aug 2015. May they use the telephone conversation of me admitting the debt as an angle to pursue further? I feel they were trying to put words into my mouth during the conversation even though I told them I thought that I should no longer be liable for the debt and did not agree to pay anything.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 29, 2015 at 9:56 am

      Hmm. The debt is not statute barred in England and Wales as it is six years from the last payment or acknowledgement in writing so it is still live. It depends on how you wrote the email as to whether this would have started the clock again – did you acknowledge the debt? An email is a form of writing you see.
      They cannot use a telephone conversation to say that you have acknowledged the debt but the email could have been.
      If you live in Scotland the situation is different.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>
      Again if you live in England or Wales even then the debt is statute barred but is still there and can follow you around although once it definitely is, then once you tell them this CONC (the FCA handbook) says they should not pursue it further. It is however, very difficult to remember exact dates etc so you have to be very sure and this period is not up until at least October 2015 – so a lot depends on the words used in your email.<!–mep-nl–><!–mep-nl–>
      I would also advise you contact our helpline on 0800 280 2816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

      • Stuart Emms

        July 29, 2015 at 10:43 am

        Thank you for the reply,

        The first email is as follows
        Good morning,
        I have received a letter from you regarding a debt I have no idea about. There are no details about the debt, when it was taken out and who with and for what amount. I therefore wish this to be removed from your records as any debts that I did incur were over six years ago prior to me losing my business and my home.

        Your info is as follows. Amount owed £13172.98
        Reference No. 011*******

        Apparently you took over the account from Arrow Global Ltd
        Acc No. 00200001********

        I have no idea who Arrow Global is either.

        After this email I received a reply saying that I will be contacted in writing. This was then followed by a telephone call on my mobile even though I never gave them this number and it is pay as you go.

        I then followed up the email after the telephone conversation and attached a template letter regarding statute barred debts. What I wrote was as follows
        Good afternoon,
        Please find attached a letter regarding your recent letter dated 7th July 2015 and telephone conversation when you called me on 17th July 2015. This debt is over 6 years old and I have not been contacted by anyone or made any payments or entered a written agreement within the last 6 years. As this debt is statute barred I therefore believe I am not liable for this debt and would like you to amend your records and no longer contact me about it.

        Kind regards,

        Should I no longer going to respond to them and let the next 3 months lapse until it is statute barred?

        Reply Report comment

        • Jane Clack

          July 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm

          Right.

          You have not acknowledged the debt in words. The first email may have been a fishing exercise but they did respond with dates. Again you did not acknowldege the debt in your reply.
          You can try making no response until October this year but do remember they could go for court action in the meantime and then the debt will sit there in perpetuity.

          It is still there now and will be after October it is just that they cannot take you to court to collect it. Keep the email where it says you last paid in October 2009 as if the creditor – or their assignee – should take you to court after October, you have the proof when you go to defend and could put in a counter claim for the time and money you have spent arguing this. If they put in a claim before October then they have to prove the debt is not statute barred by showing your last payment was October of 2009.

          Hope that helps – I would still advise you to contact us on 0800 280 2816 as a trained adviser may be able to advise on getting rid of all these debts forever.

          Reply Report comment

  • Lucy

    August 6, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    I took a credit card when at uni and lost track of payments when I came home. I became in debt with them and phoned to say I could pay back so much a week, not a lot as I was not working at the time. They declined this and as I could not afford more I lost touch with them. I heard from my mum, whos address some demands came to that the debt had been passed around. Even now 10 years later she gets the odd letter now and again. Where do I stand and will this always affect my credit rating?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      August 7, 2015 at 9:24 am

      Hello Lucy

      They could say they would not accept the offer but they would have had to accept your payment. However, since nothing has happened for a long time the debt would now be statute barred. Basically if you have not made a payment to a debt for over 6 years in England and Wales nor acknowledged the debt in writing and the creditor has not gone for a county court judgment then the debt becomes statute barred which means although it still exists they cannot enforce it through the courts. Once the creditor has issued his default – which could be much later – then the debt disappears from the credit file after six years. Your first thing to do is check your credit file to see whether the debt is there – but please be sure it is over 6 years as this could then potentially flag up your new address.

      Have a look at this website page: https://www.payplan.com/advice/law/limitation-act-1980/ and I would advise you to contact us on 0800 280 2816 as a trained adviser will be able to advise further.

      Reply Report comment

  • reb

    September 14, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Hello I owe the bank 10000 and I paid them back 3000 if I cant pay them back what are they doing can they take house or car off me ?? Thanks

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      September 21, 2015 at 6:59 pm

      Hello Reb

      There are procedures they would have to go through to allow anything like this to happen so do not worry.

      If they go for a county court judgment then you would be sent a county court claim form which you would fill in accurately and show how much money you have left over to offer them – if nothing, then you can offer £1. This is returned to the creditor within the time frame and they decide whether they will accept it or not. If they do not accept it then it goes to the court for determination and the court decides. You have a right of appeal here via a redetermination if it does not go in your favour. If the repayment amount is agreed and payments made then no bailiffs can visit and seize your car or household assets. However, a CCJ being paid does not preclude the creditor going for a charging order on your house – this does not mean the house would be sold but that when it is then the debt is paid from the house – as long as the monthly agreed payment is made.

      I wouls also suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 or 0207 760 8980 via a mobile. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Tanya

    September 25, 2015 at 9:59 pm

    Hi i had rent arrears at an old address and was paying occassionally, i had a a partner whose family member said they would pay on there card and i pay them back. We did this and i recieved confirmation from the housing association. A few weeks later i got a call saying the payment company wouldnt accept the payment so i was still in debt. The person who paid had gone out of the country so couldnt contact them to find out if this was indeed the case (and since has seperated from this partner and so have no contact). Upon looking on my credit score info it states that the said ccj has been satisfied. What does this mean as they still call me for payment. Do i still have to pay this debt.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      September 25, 2015 at 11:50 pm

      You do not say how long ago you were living at this address but then talk about a CCJ – when was this issued and are you sure it was for this debt? Then you say it is satisfied – who paid it? If it says satisfied then you do not have to pay it as it has been paid so you cannot be chased for that particular debt again – however, you need to be sure it was for the unpaid rent.I would however suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 as calls are free to this number even from mobiles. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Kerry Hall

    October 2, 2015 at 7:53 am

    My husband and I had our home repossessed in 2005 due to him being in a car accident and unable to claim on mortgage protection. We had a secured loan at the time, and despite paying all arrears at the first court appearance ( was preffered mortgages that took us to court) mortgage company then pursued for interest, we couldn’t do this as we already paid 6000 in space of two months, ( our mortgage was 550 a month and we’d missed two payments) ) the judge through it out of court the first time but second time over interest, he was forced to repossess. He also ordered preffered mortgages to cover the secured loan and pay welcome finance what we owe.
    This has never happened, last year 2014 £ 20,000 debt was added to my husbands credit file by a company we haven’t heard of, and we only had a loan for 10,000 , he has recently been sent a letter from Robinson way saying they now have the debt and want us to make payments, this was ten years ago and should have been paid by the mortgage company. Can they still chase this debt all of a sudden, we’ve moved house twice since, and been on electoral roll, but we have no paperwork. I am disabled and have two disabled kids, and this is adding stress which just doesn’t help many thanks

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 2, 2015 at 10:46 am

      This sounds horrid and very complex.

      You say Preferred Mortgages went for repossession and were told to repay Welcome Finance as well by the court. Why? The principal mortgage lender is always paid first, then any secured loan – does this mean Preferred Mortgages was the principal lender and Welcome the secured loan? They would use the sale money to pay themselves first and anything left would go to the secured loan provider. I do not think the court has the leeway to tell them to pay out more than they received – so that meant the secured lender – if this was Welcome – was probably not paid the full amount. Was there equity in your property when it was repossessed and was it enough to pay them both off after repossession and sale costs were deducted?

      The statute of limitations on secured debt is slightly different – the period for interest is 6 years and the period to chase capital can be 12. However, members of the Council of Mortgage Lenders have agreed informally to not pursue after 6 years. There is a lot more information that would be needed to really answer this question and this is not really the place.

      I would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 as calls are free to this number even from mobiles. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Gemma

    October 22, 2015 at 2:06 pm

    Hi, If a debt is shown on my credit score then is removed once it has served its time, can I still be chased for this once its been removed & can it be put back on my credit score?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 22, 2015 at 4:27 pm

      You can be chased for an unpaid debt when it disappears from your credit score if you have acknowledged it in writing in the past 6 years or if you have made any payments to it. You will see several comments on this particular circumstance in this thread – statute barring it is clled. If the creditor has gone for court action in this period then this will be on your credit file too but also drops off after 6 years. Once the notification falls off then, unless the debt is statute barred as explained above (which it never is once a CCJ has been awarded) it cannot be put on again but they can chase you.

      If you want further advice then give Payplan a ring where a trained adviser will be able to talk to you.

      Reply Report comment

  • Yvonne Johnson

    October 23, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    Hi I wonder if you can help. I had a loan with Santander for 10k over 10 years ago in Scotland. It was passed to moor croft where the debt went up to 24k who keep trying to phone me, I have been paying them every month for the past 7 years but have never had any letters from them for over a year. Can they still enforce this debt as I do not agree with the last letter they received saying the debt was still 20k that was over a year ago. Thanks.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      October 25, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Hi there. I thought I had answered this before.

      You took out the debt in Scotland. After 5 years of non payment, no acknowledgement in writing and the creditor has not gone for legal action, then the debt is extinguished. You can find a factsheet on Liability for Debts on the National Debtline website for Scotland.

      You may have borrowed £10,000 but if the repayment was say £250 for five years then you were due to repay £15,000 as interest is front loaded. Late payments cause charges etc. So you probably did owe more when you stopped paying.

      You have also been paying Moorcroft for the last 7 years so the limitation clock has not been ticking – each time a payment is made then the five year period starts again in Scotland (in England and Wales the period is 6 years). You do have the right to a breakdown of the figures though so you can write and ask them.

      If you telephone Payplan a trained adviser can give your more advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Kyle

    November 19, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Hello all. I am looking for some advice. When I was 18 I went straight to the bank and got a credit, bad idea on my part. I spent the £500 limit in a matter of days. I was so embarrassed by this I pushed it to the back of my mind and ignored anything to do with it. Three years went by and including interest I was up to £1200. The day finally came when the bank caught up with me and emptied my bank. Mortified by this I rang them and explained I could survive with no money and cut a deal for them to take £600 and leave me the other £600. That happened coming up to 6 years ago this February. I have been thinking over the last couple of month about just biting the bullet and paying this off. The. I came across an article online saying that after 6 years the debt is cleared. Over the last 5 and bit years I have received a number of letters from a couple of companies chasing for the £600. Please could anyone answer my question, if it worth me holding out to February when the six years has passed? What happens then? Will my credit score get any better? My goal is to get my credit rating on track. Should I pay the monies that I owe? Any answers would be extremely appreciated.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      November 24, 2015 at 7:09 pm

      Hello – it is true that once six years have passed since the last time you (or any co-owner of the debt) made a payment or you alone have acknowledged the debt in writing then the debt in England and Wales becomes statute barred. This does not mean the debt has gone away but that creditors or their agents cannot enforce the debt through the county court. You have, however, to be very sure that 6 years have passed as sometimes 5 years and 3 months etc can seem like 6 years and once the debt is acknowledged in writing the clock starts ticking down from 6 years again. The debt disappears 6 years after any default or court action has been noted on it – it is unlikely that the debt has not been defaulted if it has been passed to debt collectors/agents. You could check your credit files to see when the default was lodged – unless of course you have moved address and not let the creditor know as they do check credit files and you would also have to provide your current address to do this. If you have moved address they may have issued a county court judgment against you at your last known address. However, you say you “cut a deal” – does this mean you made a full and final settlement?

      If you cannot afford to pay this it is a totally different matter but if you can and you owe this money I cannot encourage you to avoid paying it by looking for the statute barred loophole. You need to think about this as if you want to rebuild your credit file then it would be better to pay it even at this late date. If you cannot then you could wait it out – just remember that creditors have been known to go for court action at 5 years and 11 months and once there is a CCJ against you you can pay it off within a month (plus court costs) and it won’t appear on your credit file or if not it will stay there for six years. If you have no other debt this will stand out on your credit file at present.

      If you need more advice then contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 where a trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Sharon

    December 17, 2015 at 4:58 pm

    Hi I had debts with bank for a loan and credit card for about 1500 and one for o2 phone contract and one more for another company for about 1000 last contact was about 4 years ago. I have since then got married and changed my name if I open a new bank account will they find my address’s and ask for full payment what can I do? Please help

    Reply Report comment

    • Sharon

      December 17, 2015 at 5:31 pm

      Just to add I have no ccj on my old name at all so I am very confused.

      Reply Report comment

      • Jane Clack

        December 21, 2015 at 1:13 pm

        I have responded to this earlier.

        Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      December 21, 2015 at 1:12 pm

      You will probably be asked for all your names and addresses in the past 6 years so this could flag things up for creditors. You can open a basic bank account but they have to check credit files – this is for fraud not to stop you opening an account. Rather than going into a long explanation on the statute of limitations here – although if you last paid 4 years ago it would not apply anyway. I would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 as calls are free to this number even from mobiles. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice. I shall send you a factsheet on the statute of limitations to the email address you have supplied.

      Reply Report comment

  • john

    February 5, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I left the UK about 16 years ago leaving behind some debts which I did intend too clear but…. One of the credit card debts ended up with Lowell who tried to pursue it against my father who has exactly the same name. I emailed them several times to tell them that they must deal with me and not him and when they acknowledged that he was not me I would respond to their demands. They never responded to emails so I didn’t feel obliged to respond to their letters and all went quiet. Is there an easy way to find out if this is still active? I never acknowledged the debt, it must be nearly 6 years since there was any correspondence. If I was to buy property in the UK might I find them coming after me again?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      February 8, 2016 at 4:30 pm

      If you left the UK sixteen years ago then the debts owuld be statute barred unless the creditor had gone for a county court judgment – which they could have done but if your last known address was at your father’s house and he opened the post the chances are you would know! If however, your last correspondence with them was less than 6 years ago then the debt can still be chased. The statute of limitations in England and Wales says that if no payment has been made to a debt for over 6 years and the dbt has now been acknowledged in writing then they cannot pursue you for the debt through the court. This does not mean that debt has gone however and debts can be sold on again and again but after 6 years it is staute barred. So everything depends on the date! Are you still living abroad or are you now back in the UK – I would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 as calls are free to this number even from mobiles. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice.

      Reply Report comment

  • Lauren

    February 10, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I have a number of debts from about 7 years ago who still self me letters and pass me on from company to company all trying to scare me into paying them I never reply or answer the phone calls does this mean all these debts should really be leaving me alone now?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      February 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      This question is asked repeatedly. If you live in England or Wales the debt is technically never written off – however, if you are certain you (or someone else if it were a joint debt) has not paid anything for 6 years or more (not 5 years 11 months say) and have not acknowledged the debt in writing then the creditor – or his agent or assignee – cannot chase it and enforce it through the courts. Some debt purchasers seem to be trying to do this but the law is clear – if no payment has been made to a debt for more than 6 years (take it from the last time a payment was due and you did not pay it) or has been acknowledged in writing then it is statute barred. It is the claimants duty to prove this has not happened if they get as far as court but often when told this, they back off. But remember, theirs is the burden of proof.

      Reply Report comment

  • andrew mitchell

    February 21, 2016 at 9:51 pm

    hi, firstly I have a CCJ that was started on June 2010 would I be right in thinking this will be wiped off my credit report automatically when we reach June 2016 or do I have to apply directly to the court for it to be removed?

    Secondly I started an IVA in the same year July 2010 in December of 2010 I had defaulted on several payments and did not pay anything else, since then (Dec 2010) I have not heard anything from my IVA supervisor or from the companies I owed the debt to??
    do you think I could be due for a lot of debt collectors sending me letters now the 6 year deadline is approaching?? what would be your advice for the coming months.
    Thanks

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      February 22, 2016 at 2:13 pm

      The debt will not have disappeared but the CCJ will fall off your credit file 6 years after it was added – probably July 2016.
      If you have not heard anything from your IVA supervisor I would suggest you search the insolvency register to see if the IVA is on there as failed or not. Your supervisor may not have closed the case as they may be claiming mis-sold PPI for your creditors as they are supposed to do. If your circumstances have not changed, I would contact the insolvency practitioner to see what the situation is. If they have failed it it is unlikely your creditors would wait for 6 years as the protection of the IVA would have stopped. You are in limbo at the moment and need more facts before you can reach any solution.

      Reply Report comment

      • andrew mitchell

        February 22, 2016 at 11:10 pm

        Hi Jane, thanks for the reply the information is much appreciated.
        I have just checked the insolvency register and all the information is still there.
        I am slightly worried if I contact the insolvency practitioner that I could open a new can of worms??
        and be back to square one! we have done so well in the last 6 years living off no credit and making ends meet. yes this is of my own making and I can not hide from it! what is the worst that could happen if I do contact the practitioner?

        Reply Report comment

        • Jane Clack

          February 25, 2016 at 11:39 am

          It depends on the insolvency practitioner – it will fall off a few months after the 6 years but they can delay closing a case – they need good reason to though. – Remember debts are not statute barred until six years have gone by with no payment or no acknowledgement in writing but the creditors may not be chasing as they think they will get a distribution when the IVA finishes. It is up to you but it is not going to disappear I am afraid. If yuo want to email me more details – send it to jane.clack@payplan.com

          Reply Report comment

          • andrew mitchell

            March 12, 2016 at 4:28 pm

            Hi Jane, A quick update regarding our conversation regarding my IVA (February 22nd)
            I received an update alert from my noddle credit report on the 11th march and to my surprise the IVA had status as COMPLETED
            from seeing this I checked the insolvency register and my name and details have been taken off.
            I don’t want to jump to conclusions but where does this leave me now what is the next step??
            also just to let you know I have not received a completion certificate.
            Thanks Andy

          • Jane Clack

            March 15, 2016 at 6:15 pm

            So it has disappeared – fantastic!!

            Anyway, I would not pursue it any further but let us know if things change. This does seem to me to be a case of let sleeping dogs lie.

  • carol

    March 7, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    Hi in 2005 i closed my bank account with tsb then about four years later received a letter from a different company saying that i had had an overdraft with tsb and that they were writing to me to recover the money i told them that i didn’t owe this money as the bank account had been closed so i asked them for proof a month later they had sent all my bank statements and to my horror the account was still open in the mean time tsb sold it to this company and now i am being chased for the debt that i should never have the bank had still been charging for the account witch then made it go over the overdraft and then more charges were added well in the end i emailed ltsb about my concerns within hours they admitted fault and paid me the money back as they admitted liability on this do i still owe the other company the money as they are chasing me for it dont know what to do

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      March 9, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Write to them and send them a copy of the email from TSB showing that you do not owe the money! You should also let TSB know about this other company.

      Reply Report comment

  • Vanessa

    March 8, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Hi,

    I have a debt with a bank in the uk because of a credit card. Total is £1,000 and the last time I have paid £35 (I used to have a direct debit monthly) was in July or August I think. Then I moved abroad but I didn’t tell them as I knew it was only going to be temporary until I would find a stable job etc…

    Now they have been quite insisting in the past couple of weeks with phone calls and text messages. I am planning to return to the UK next month although I wont have any savings so I would need a bit of time before I can start re-paying the debt.
    I do plan to pay at some stage so I can close the account FOREVER!

    What is going to happen now? I am quite scared because I can’t afford anything and do not want to end up in court. I am only 25! My family cannot afford to help me, they are working class and have their own debts.
    Let me know what you think I should do? Should I just tell them the truth? Call them back? So far I have just ignored calls and letters to my old address.

    I have a current account (debit card) with them as well but there is only £2 on it since I am using my “foreign” account with just the essential to survive where I am now (within the EU).

    Thanks for letting me know. I think is great there you guys are helping us like this 🙂

    Best,

    Vanessa

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      March 9, 2016 at 10:00 am

      You need to explain to them that you are not in the UK at the moment and when you do return and get a job you will be in a position to repay them at an affordable rate. If it is your only debt then it is quite easy to do yourself but if you have other debts then would strongly suggest you contact Payplan on 0800 2802816 FREE as calls are free to this number even from mobiles – they can help with the debt issue. A trained adviser will be able to give you tailored advice and put your mind at rest as there are things which can be done.
      I am sending you a copy of our informal arrangements pack to the email address you have supplied as this gives you pointers on how to deal.

      Reply Report comment

      • V

        March 9, 2016 at 10:07 am

        Thanks a lot.

        I will do as you suggested. The only reason why I didnt tell them that I am not living in the UK is because i dont want them to bother my family. In fact I don’t think I will. Since I am coming back to the UK next month, there is no need I think, then I can give them my new UK address.

        My only other debt is my student loan as I have studied in a UK university. Not sure if that counts…They (the student loan company) know that at the moment i earn less than £15,000 a year thus I cannot start paying back the student loan.

        Thanks again. I will robably give you a call upon my return to the UK if not before. 🙂

        V

        Reply Report comment

        • Jane Clack

          March 9, 2016 at 10:08 am

          Lovely. Unfortunately there is no other way of getting rid of a student loan – once you reach the threshold for repaying they will start to take it. The other one is one you can sort. Good luck.

          Reply Report comment

  • RHE

    March 10, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    I have Robinson way trying to collect a credit card debt from when I was 20. They have my mobile phone number and home phone number!! I am now 28, and not heard anything regarding this debt since I was 25/26! Do I contact them to tell them to clear off?!

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      March 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      You only contact them to tell them to clear off if a debt is statute barred! That means that no payment has been made to the debt for six years since the last payment was due to be made and there has been no contact in writing and the creditor has not gone for a county court judgment. You need to be very sure this is the case as otherwise the debt is still live and you would be stopping the six year clock ticking down and make it start again if you contact in writing before. National Debtline provide a useful factsheet on this which I suggest you read. This is the case in England and Wales – in Scotland, most unsecured debts become prescribed after five years of the above.

      Reply Report comment

      • RHE

        March 10, 2016 at 10:04 pm

        I have most definitely not made any payments since this debt and I have moved house 3 times and not notified them! I will look into national debt line thank you

        Reply Report comment

        • Jane Clack

          March 11, 2016 at 9:05 am

          So if you have moved house three times do check that you have not been issued with a county court judgment as they may have sent the details to a previous address.

          Reply Report comment

  • Caroline Davies

    June 9, 2016 at 11:20 am

    My Son was found guilty of Fraud & was ordered to repay the amount in question plus a contribution towards the prosecution costs. This he has duly done however, the prosecution solicitors are now chasing for the difference between the amount the prosecution wanted & the amount the Judge awarded. I was under the impression that the Court made the decision on costs. He has worked very hard to put this all behind him & he is still working hard to pay off debts he incurred after losing his job. This is like a kick in the teeth, he wasn’t guilty in the first place, but we were unable to prove it. But that’s over & done with now, what can we do about this? It seems totally illogical that a Judge makes an order, which is complied with, but because the prosecution don’t like it, they say they want the rest – or else!!

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      June 10, 2016 at 1:47 pm

      I am afraid we are not legal specialists. It would seem to me that the court orders the amounts but you need to speak to a solicitor about this. You could try the Legal Beagles forum but they will have the same disclaimer.

      Reply Report comment

  • Karen Pell

    June 12, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Hi can you tell me if we can still peruse an ex tenant for rent arrears. He had, via the courts, agreed to pay us a monthly payment towards the outstanding debt. We had a CCJ recorded against him in 2012 when he failed to pay even the first instalment I have been told because we haven’t been in touch with him since recording the CCJ we can’t pursue. However this is only because we didn’t know where he moved to. The reason I’m asking is that we now know where he is living and want to pursue him for the outstanding debt. Can you advise thank you

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      June 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Hello – you can enforce a CCJ after 6 years by applying to the court. They will want to know why you have not enforced the judgment before but if it was because you did not have the address as the person had moved and you have only now found them again the court is likely to agree that it can be pursued. If you had been able to take acton before and had not then it would be unlikely for the court to agree.
      If the client has gone bankrupt however then all debt will have been included in the bankruptcy as this is a class action.

      Reply Report comment

  • Nikki

    July 25, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    I had a store card in 2003 and the account was closed by them in 2008 due to none payment. I have never had contact with the creditors since then but have recently received a letter from a company claiming to be solicitors demanding payment of £849. They have also threatened to take this matter to court of contact wasn’t made by a certain date. I’m still not prepared to contact them as this debt is 13 years old.
    Have they got any rights to claim this money back after all this time?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      July 25, 2016 at 5:39 pm

      Unless they have a county court judgment against you – made to the last known address they had for you – and you have made no payment or acknowedged the debt in writing then it is statute barred. If they take you to court you would make a statute barred defence and they have to prove you have made a payment in the last six years or acknowledged the debt. Write and let them know you will be doing this if they do take you to court and use the template letters from http://www.nationaldebtline.org on the factsheet on Liability for Debts. I am however surprised that they closed an account though – may not have let you buy anything but the account would still be active. Also it does not matter when the creditors issued a default notice it is the date of your last payment or acknowledgement in writing that sets the date!

      Reply Report comment

  • janine

    November 8, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Hi, I have a creditor that took me to court so I have a CCJ order but this was back in 2004 if I stop paying this what would be the outcome

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      November 11, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      They could go back to court to enforce the debt if they so wished. The debt is still live as there is a CCJ and so it never becomes statute barred.

      Reply Report comment

  • Igz

    November 28, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Hello everyone,

    I am South Asian national, and was in the UK on student visa till dec2011,
    I left UK due to incomplete study due to my guide problem. When I left UK, I had 3 phone contracts and credit card dues up to 1000 pounds.

    Now after 5-6 years, I want to come to UK for a business visit, I am scared whether they will give me visa to enter and even if they do, will they caught me and ask me to pay dues.

    I heard that all the debt records are valid for three to four years.

    Can anyone please guide me.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      November 29, 2016 at 4:22 pm

      If you left in December 2011 and made your last payments then the debts may still be live as they would not become statute barred until December 2017. This means the creditors can still collect – even if it had been longer if the creditors had gone for court action at your last known address then they would still be live. What they cannot do after they are statute barred however is collect them via court action. However, if they do not know your address and you are only coming here for a short while you will not be having a permanent address here where they can find you. If you come back to live here then you will obviously start building a credit history here again. Debt Records are valid for at least 6 years but we do not arrest visitors for debt at entry point!!

      Reply Report comment

  • Ali

    December 16, 2016 at 2:49 am

    I had a student account at Natwest and I graduated in 2009, left the uk and my overdraft was £1100. Would I to repay it back and if so, how much would I have to pay now?

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      January 1, 2017 at 1:06 am

      Ok – if the creditor has not gone for a county court judgment – which they can do to your last known address in the UK – the debt would now be what is called statute barred. That means that you still own the money – if you lived in England or Wales – but that as it is over 6 years since you made a payment to it or acknowledged it in writing they cannot chase it through the courts. If they have gone for a CCJ then they could enforce it if they can show the court that the reason they had not enforced it before was that they did not have your address.

      Reply Report comment

  • Tierney

    December 23, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Hi Jane,

    I have read every comment and you really seem to know your stuff. I hope you can help me too.

    I have a defaulted mortgage with Halifax (HBOS) from 2014 however on my Experian report the balance is now noted as £0 and on my Noodle report it is noted as “satisfied”- which makes me think either Halifax (HBOS) have just closed off the debt or have sold it.

    I do currently have a company called ShooSmiths chasing me (in their words on behalf of their client) for the same debt but they don’t show up on any of my credit reports. Surely if they now owed the debt it should show up in its own right on my credit report ?

    I just get the feeling that they might be trying to pull a fast one after their client (Halifax HSOS) have told them to stop chasing it.

    Thank you for your help

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      January 1, 2017 at 1:02 am

      Hi Tierney – Sorry for the delay in replying.

      I am assuming the property was repossessed as you say it is a defaulted account. If it is then what has happened is the property has been sold and there is a short fall remaining. It seems odd that there should be nothing on the credit report after the repossession but sometimes this does happen.

      Also mortgage shortfalls have different periods until they become statute barred. The interest part of it is only “live” for six years after the last payment was made – and this would be 6 years from the date of the last payment to it but the capital part remains live for 12 years. When a property is repossessed the money goes to the interest owed first and the remainder then to the capital so if there is anything outstanding there that sits there ready to be chased for 12 years although the council of mortgage lenders have an unofficial agreement that they will not chase after 6 years of no payment or acknowledgement in writing.

      This is not the case here as it is only from 2014. They may have passed the debt to Shoosmiths but you really do need to know what has happened here – what is odd is that there is no mention on your Experian report. However, have a look at Equifax and Call Credit to double check but the fact that it is not on the credit report at all sounds odd. The debt however has not disappeared.

      Has it been repossessed and also did you own it jointly with someone else as they may have been paying it unbeknownst to you.

      I cannot really answer this without more information so if you want to explain more fully in an email please send one to jane.clack@payplan.com

      Reply Report comment

  • james oconnor

    January 20, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    my mother phoned me on xmas day on pay and go phone which lasted less than 30 seconds now o2 whom i have a contract phone with say i owe them over 63 pounds for a four hour phone call which never happened i tried to pay the bill on tuesday 17 jan and was told it had already been paid by direct debit and i owe nothing, now it seems i owe the money again even though i have the transcipt of the conversation i had with o2 and that they sy it had been paid what are my rights , i am going to citizen advice on monday to see if they can help clear this up

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      January 21, 2017 at 5:36 pm

      I think that would be a good idea as there are mixed messages here and you are also saying your call lasted less than 30 seconds!

      Reply Report comment

  • Sue Willers

    January 28, 2017 at 10:47 am

    Hiya, in 2009/2010 I claimed on insurance with the Nat West for a loan and an over draft , the bank paid the loan but only after endless phone calls and proof of illness , in fact I gave all the details of my illness to them , they turned round and told me they won’t pay the insurance on the overdraft as it Was “variable ” even though they took the premiums for it from my account at the time , I am still receiving letters every 6 months saying I owe the £7.500 , I’m 67 yrs old and still very ill and too frightened to contact them as its so upsetting , I even have a letter from saying I can claim £900 for their bad treatment of me ! What should I do ? I contacted the Ombudsman but have had no response from them just a letter saying they’ll get back to me as they’re inundated with complaints from banks

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      January 29, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Did the insurance you took out actually cover the overdraft or hust the loan. I ask that as it is unusual to see that – however, if that is the case and you have made the complaint to the bank and have had their response the best thing is to do is to wait for the Ombudsman. However, you should also write to the bank with your complaint (although you may have done so before you went to the Ombudsman as that is the way to do it) pointing out the fact that you are vulnerable as you are still unwell, elderly and not able to pay this. The Financial Conduct Authority takes a very dim view of creditors who do not treat people fairly especially those who are more vulnerable than others. If you want to add anything further just email me jane.clack@payplan.com

      Reply Report comment

  • John Doh

    March 6, 2017 at 9:57 pm

    Hi, I took out a loan of 25k and upto 6 credit cards in 2006/7 and was making payments on time until in 2008 when unfortunately got tangled up in a criminal case, ended up getting a 10 year prison sentence.
    After completing 5 years I got out which was at the end of 2013, since release I’ve been living at various addresses but now back at the original address. Throughout the years in prison I’ve been moved around up and down the country and on some occasions the odd letter or two has been following me around but I’ve never wrote back to them.
    I’ve recently been able to obtain bank accounts and a number of credit cards and nothing seems to be on my Clearscore credit file, does this mean I’m in the clear so to speak? Or if I apply for credit from one of the previous banks, they’ll bring up old scars?
    I’ve also landed with a confiscation order of 450k to do with the criminal case I was convicted for which a lovely judge (confiscation judge, not actual trial one) let be on hold as in I only need to pay it if and when I gain access to vast sums of money, legally of course, if that’s relevant at all.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      March 7, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Unless the creditors went for legal action ie a county court judgment then after this period of time, the debts are statute barred if you have paid nothing to them nor acknowledged them in writing. This does not mean they have gone just that the creditors can no longer take legal action to get them back. However, if they did go for legal action – which may well now have disappeared from your credit reports anyway as they sit there for 6 years – then the debts are not statute barred. If they wished to enforce them they would have to go to court to do this and they would be asked why they had done nothing before. If they could explain that they could not find you at your last known address then they could file for enforcement action which could include bailiff action, attachment of earnings, third party debt orders, and charging orders if you own a property.

      I am sorry I cannot tell you the debts have definitively disappeared. However, if you have got more credit it would seem to me that they may have gone.

      Reply Report comment

  • Gerald Victor Owen Jenkinson

    April 9, 2017 at 2:56 pm

    I am asking a question re on behalf of a friend. A mortgage was taken out about eight o nine years ago,
    Can you tell me what time has to elapsed for a mortgage not to be paid up anymore.

    Regards Gerry Jenkinson

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      April 11, 2017 at 6:50 pm

      Hello – are you in fact asking whether they can chase someone for unpaid mortgage if they have left the property?

      If this is the case once the property is sold then the lender has six years to collect any interest shortfall that was not paid when the property was sold. However, they have up to 12 years to collect any capital still outstanding. As you can imagine any proceeds of sale go towards the interest first. However, the Council of Mortgage lenders have an unofficial agreement they will not chase any debt over 6 years. The problem is that debt collectors do not have to abide by that and it is not a rule.

      No payment must have been paid towards it, nor any acknowledgement in writing and the creditor must not have gone for a county court judgment for the money in these periods.

      Hope that helps and was the question you were asking.

      Reply Report comment

  • Su

    April 27, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Hi
    I have a personal debt (over 30k), the creditor took me to court and I had to show my earnings and expenses. No decisions were made on the day and the creditors said they would get back to me regarding payment. It’s been nearly 4 years and I haven’t heard from them. I haven’t had to pay anything towards clearing the debt. Can this become ‘Statue Barred’? If not do you know what my best options are as I cannot afford to pay the debt but knowing that it is still there is really affecting my life.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      April 28, 2017 at 7:43 am

      If you have a CCJ then the debt is never statute barred. Check your credit file as if it were 4 years ago there should be something on your credit report. Although it falls off after 6 years the creditor can go back to court to try and enforce the debt but would have to explain why they had not done so in the interim. If you have not changed address then it seems odd they have not been in touch re a repayment plan but that does not mean they will not.

      You may not be able to afford to pay the debt now but is this because you are paying other debts or just simply that you have no income to do so. If you do have multiple debts I would suggest giving Payplan a ring to see if they can advise.

      Reply Report comment

      • Su

        April 28, 2017 at 12:23 pm

        Hi Jane,
        Thanks for your response. I’ve just checked my credit report and I have an excellent rating of 982. There are no CCJs or listed debts. At court there wasn’t a decision made about payment so not sure if this has anything to do with it.

        I do not have any other debts but due to low earnings I cannot afford to pay much towards this debt.

        Reply Report comment

  • clair

    June 14, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Hi i have 2 closed accounts on my credit report from 2010 from arrow global one november 2010 and december 2010 and still on there now how do i get them to remove as its been nearly 7 years ive made no contact within that time please help me

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      June 15, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      Only the creditor can remove things from your credit file so you could contact them to ask why they have not gone but then of course that alerts them to your new address. However, if you – and it is not a joint debt with someone else – have paid nothing towards the debt for the last six years, nor acknowledged it in writing and the creditor or their agent has not got a county court judgment then the debt is statute barred. In England and Wales this does not mean the debt has disappeared but that the creditor no longer has recourse to the court to reclaim the money. It does seem odd though that it is still on the file so perhaps you could contact the credit agency and ask why it is still there.

      Reply Report comment

  • Brian.breen

    June 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    Hello,
    Can you please advise me on the following.
    I took a Loan out with the NatWest 8 years ago, I wrote to the bank and ask them for a copy of the loan agreement. They wrote back to me to inform me they had lost all my details, folder, loan agreement, etc, however I must continue to pay my monthly instalments. Can you tell me where I stand legally with the NatWest.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      June 27, 2017 at 9:59 am

      It depends when you last paid the debt or acknowledged it in writing as debts become statute barred in England and Wales if you have made no payment towards it or acknowledged it in writing for 6 years and the creditor does not already have a county court judgment against you for it.
      You could decide not to pay and then if they took you to court they would have to provide the loan agreement etc – they can provide a reconstituted agreement though.

      Reply Report comment

  • Antonia

    August 7, 2017 at 10:58 pm

    I borrowed £2500 off welcome finance in 2007 and they wanted £17000 with their rates. I then found out about ppi and they took off about £3k and the total they want is £14,500. I last made a payment in July 2008 because I split with my gf and I had to move away from home. And I have made no contact what so ever to welcome fiance. But they send letters to my mums house where I lived when I took out the loan. So it’s been 8 years now since I had any contact or made a payment with them. What are my options and do I have to pay their shocking loan back. I’m so stressed and can not sleep at night most nights. I’ve checked my credit report a few times and nothing is on there.
    Please can you help me out. It would mean a lot.

    Reply Report comment

    • Jane Clack

      August 8, 2017 at 9:12 am

      From what you say the debt would appear to be statute barred. However, if they went for court action at the last address they had for you and were not able to contact you to enforce it, if six years had passed since the judgment then the creditor could go back to court to explain why they had not enforced previously.

      A debt becomes statute barred after 6 years of no payment after the contractual payment becomes due if there has been no payment (if it were in joint names by either of them) and no contact in writing and the creditor has not gone for court action.

      So unless they have gone for court action it looks as if you are in the clear. The debt still exists but they cannot enforce it through the court.

      It does sound very high but do remember the loan will have had interest on it although I cannot believe that interest alone causes a £2500 loan to be £17000. All you need to do to work things out is take your payment and multiply it by the number of months you were supposed to pay to get the full amount you signed up to pay.

      I should also add this: Welcome Finance is no longer lending to new customers and is in the process of closing the business down. However, if you are already a Welcome Finance customer and have a loan with us, then these changes will not affect the terms and conditions of your original agreement. As Welcome Finance progresses the close down of the business your account may be sold on to another company. If this is the case, this is not a reflection of your account and you will be notified in writing. It is important that you continue to pay your account balance.

      Reply Report comment

  • James

    September 9, 2017 at 8:33 am

    I was in London, UK from 2007 to 2010, I left UK in 2010 with around 18k pounds of debt from credit cards, personal loans, store credit card & mobile contracts.

    I left for good in 2010 and its 2017 now, I am in in home country in Asia.
    How do I know if my debts are written off?
    Am sure all the creditors had sent or must be sending letters at the place where I used to stay (letters, county court judgments etc.,.) however I am not sure as I don’t stay in that place.

    I used to get emails asking to pay but that’s stopped 3-4 years ago. I had never paid anything back.
    Never contacted back. I just want to know if my debts could be written off by now and if yes, how do I know that?
    Thanks for answering.

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    • Jane Clack

      September 10, 2017 at 11:32 am

      The short answer is you do not. If you have had not paid anything or acknowledged the debt in writing since you went and the creditor did not go for court action then yes the debts are statute barred. They have not been written off but they cannot enforce them now through the courts. However, if they did go for court action which they could have done by trying to contact you at the last UK address they had for you, they could have a county court judgment. This may have fallen off your credit record but the creditor could resurrect enforcement action – if they discover a new address in the UK – by going to the court and explaining why they were unable to enforce it previously.

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      • James

        September 12, 2017 at 9:13 am

        Thanks for answering.

        If i wish to pay back (considering the fact that i am in an Asian country and its currency value is much lower to UK’s) on a monthly basis but i cannot afford to pay all which i owe, i can only pay to agree a fixed amount and then rest of the amount should be erased off/written off. Is it possible?

        Secondly, I don’t wish to intend to come back to U.K however i might go to Australia, so if i go there, are there any chances that i might get contacted by creditors to pay my U.K debt?

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        • Jane Clack

          September 12, 2017 at 3:54 pm

          You can always contact the creditor and see if they would accept reduced payments and explain why you left the country without a forwarding address and have not been able to contact them since, they could agree but it will be expensive to transfer monies and if the debt is statute barred then you would not have started the clock ticking again anyway. If there is judgment against you they could always sell the debt to debt collectors where you are. I cannot comment on the situation in Australia except to say the same is true.

          I am sorry but we cannot answer further on this page.

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